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Author Topic: Interested in getting a couple of alpacas  (Read 13767 times)

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Interested in getting a couple of alpacas
« on: April 30, 2012, 08:32:27 am »
At Wonderwool Wales yesterday I was very taken with the alpacas. It seems that they would do the job I wanted sheep for (lawn mowers), yet be more sensible and pet like. I would have the added bonus of their lovely fleece.

I know they are a lot more expensive than sheep.  I was quoted between 300-500 for a male and 1500 - 2000 for a female so don't want to make a costly mistake.

Anyone got any advice for me?

thanks
Sally
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Interested in getting a couple of alpacas
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2012, 09:02:21 am »
ummm make sure as sure as you can be that the owner is trying to ensure they dont have/get TB....they are very susceptible, dont show up accurately on the stats as they are classed differently as not in theory put into the food chain....and you can catch it.

http://farmingforum.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=67156

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Interested in getting a couple of alpacas
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2012, 10:07:31 am »
Thanks for sharing that link with me.  I don't yet have a specific seller in mind but if I do decide to go ahead you can be sure I will be asking the prospective sellers about their TB vaccination.

Sally
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Interested in getting a couple of alpacas
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2012, 11:48:50 am »
prob is there isnt an effective vaccine yet and the BTB test used for cattle is much less effective in alpacas, yet they are v susceptible for the disease.

bear in mind farmers are quite cross about the free movement of camelids into BTB free areas from areas where it is rife so make absolutely sure they cant come into nose to nose contact with any other BTB affected livestock, yours or a neighbours.

sorry to be gloomy but defra do really need to get a grip on this issue and also allowing 'rescued' badgers from BTB areas to be released wherever the charity fancies including currently clear areas :-(

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Interested in getting a couple of alpacas
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2012, 12:52:30 pm »
We are surrounded by sheep.  No cattle anywhere near us so I assume I will be ok?

Sally
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Interested in getting a couple of alpacas
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2012, 01:02:49 pm »

Sheep can catch it. However unlike alpacas they are less of a reservoir of infection, so tend to get infected /reinfected by a species that does do so, like badgers (or maybe in theory) alpacas.

http://www.defra.gov.uk/animal-diseases/a-z/bovine-tb/animal-keepers/other-species/

But certainly a cattle free area will make it a lot easier to have the alpacas without scowls from neighbours :-) certainly if you ensure the alpacas cant touch the sheep that should minimise any risks (and of course cattle are worth a lot more individually than sheep so its a bit less emotive).

Sheep are easier and cheaper lawnmowers I would say, esp as you can eat the spare ones :-)) I dont know of anyone having alpacas primarily for lawnmowing, only for sheep herd guarding against foxes, for fleece or as pets.

blades

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Huntly
Re: Interested in getting a couple of alpacas
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 01:15:55 pm »
Also a big consideration (and I say this from keeping alpacas) is that in my opinion they need shelter from wet weather. They can cope brilliantly with dry freezing cold weather but not our extended wet periods. Their fleeces do not contain lanolin and are not waterproof.

That said, if you have appropriate accommodation or shelters they are wonderful, gentle animals. Bringing them in at night gets them used to you and slowly they will build confidence and allow handling etc..

Personally, overall we have found sheep easier to care for correctly.

Good luck
Metal Detectorist

kaz

  • Joined Jul 2008
  • Ceredigion
  • Dust yourself off when life throws you down.
Re: Interested in getting a couple of alpacas
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2012, 06:47:43 pm »
Alpaca's will cope quite well in wet weather if they have a field shelter. I have two and if the weather is really wet they will shelter under trees.
I think mine are great. They will guard sheep and can be tamed quite easily. They are shorn once a year when they also have their toenails trimmed and teeth cut if need be and any other drugs they might need at that time. Not much else is needed to look after them but it is far better if you can make them as tame as possible so if they need attention you can handle them.
There is a chap near Tregaron who breeds them. If you are interested I can PM of his details. :)
Penybont Ryelands. Ystwyth Coloured Ryelands.  2 alpacas, 2 angora goats, 2 anglo nubian kids, 3golden retrievers a collie and a red fox labrador retriever, geese, ducks & chickens.

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Interested in getting a couple of alpacas
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2012, 07:30:03 pm »
Kaz,
I am definitely interested in the Tregaron breeder. Please PM me his details
thanks
Sally
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

primrosepig

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Interested in getting a couple of alpacas
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2012, 09:52:39 pm »
If you want to find out the truth regarding BV TB and camelids take a look at the alpaca tb support group's website.
Not only will you realise that you will be taking a risk buying an alpaca from anywhere in the country you may also put yourself and your family at risk from getting the disease.
Dianne Summers who runs the group is my immediate neighbour and is now facing at least 9 months of treatment to try and rid herself of the disease.
It doesn't matter whether you are in an area with no cattle alpacas can harbour the disease for many years, show no symptoms and can pass the disease to wildlife in the area.
Believe me BV TB can infect any mammal from cats, sheep, deer goats, camelids and as I know to my cost pigs.
Defra - despite quotes to the contrary in the media- are doing nothing to sort out the rules regarding non bovines and at the very least this should involve compulsory movement licences for alpacas.
Farnmers Guardian are reporting the slaughtering of at least 500 alpaca's in East Susses- a TB free area - during April and are now trying to track all past movements- so it will have spread all over the country by now.  But at least the farm will receive compensation of at least 750 per animal - not so for pig and sheep farmers - breaks EU rules re TB compensation but hey ho we only feed the population so who cares about us !!  ;   

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Interested in getting a couple of alpacas
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2012, 09:27:55 am »
Primrosepig,
thankyou for the resonse. I never knew there was such an issue although had read about Dianne Summers after i was sent the link. Yours and lachlanandmarcus have definitely made me think twice.

Sally
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
    • Facebook
Re: Interested in getting a couple of alpacas
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2012, 11:04:42 pm »
Please don't do it! The cheaper animals often have awfully bad fleece....and I speak from lots of experience  ::)
The price is dropping fast and many just cannot sell their animals and what with the TB problems aptly put above....just don't would be my advice  :-\
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Interested in getting a couple of alpacas
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2012, 02:49:43 am »
At Wonderwool Wales yesterday I was very taken with the alpacas. It seems that they would do the job I wanted sheep for (lawn mowers), yet be more sensible and pet like. I would have the added bonus of their lovely fleece.

Given that you seem to be getting a lot of disencouragement on the alpaca front, I just thought I'd mention that sheep can be very tame, even affectionate, if treated appropriately.   :)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Interested in getting a couple of alpacas
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2012, 07:25:55 am »
Thats very true. Our neighbours Herdwick used to go sledging with the children in the snow ! and came into the kitchen for elevenses.

My fave tamest ewe, Coco always comes to greet me and after I was in hospital recently, the first time I went to see her for about 3 weeks she was very affectionate and stayed by my side for ages, nudging me to scratch her head and chin whenever I stopped :-))))

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Interested in getting a couple of alpacas
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2012, 08:17:10 pm »
Yes Bionic, I would imagine some breeds of sheep could be really ... pet like .... if that is what you want.

Even our Soay girls are friendly. Some of them jump up like dogs and love to touch noses with you. They hardly saw anyone before we had them and have changed so much.  ;D

 

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